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WINSTON-SALEM IS ALL THAI’D UP

by Daniel Schere

Thai food lovers that live in Winston-Salem are in luck. Thai Sawatdee is not the only authentic Thai restaurant in the Triad, but it is also the one with the most locations. The company has three storefronts with one located on Healy Drive off of Stratford Road, another located inside Harris Teeter in the Cloverdale shopping center and the third in Robinhood Village.

I ventured down to the Healy Drive location on two occasions, both for lunch. This is perhaps the best meal to have, as you can get one of their lunch specials for under $10. This includes a Thai salad with peanut dressing along with two spring rolls with sweet and sour dipping sauce. It is the perfect amount of pre-main course food and just enough to keep you entertained for a few minutes without filling up.

The menu is extensive and features a variety of meat and vegetarian entrees, most of which give you the option of substituting tofu for the vegetarian option. There are curry, noodle and rice-based dishes along with a few others to pick from. In addition to being a sit-down restaurant, Thai Sawatdee also has a take out option if you’re in a hurry.

On my first visit, I had to order to Pad Thai “” a staple of any Thai restaurant. This particular dish of Pad Thai did not disappoint. The blend of peanut sauce with the translucent noodles gave my palate the perfect blend of flavor I needed for the day. The second time, I got a blend of rice, sautéed eggplant and other vegetables in a light mint-flavored sauce. This stood in stark contrast to the Pad Thai but still did the job of satisfying my stomach’s need of something tasty without it being overwhelming.

Beyond serving up authentic Thai cuisine, Thai Sawatdee provides the perfect atmosphere for a variety of different purposes. It is a great place for a casual business lunch or even an affordable date. It has colorful oriental decorations and a quiet atmosphere that makes you feel at ease amidst a busy day. The staff is friendly and will accommodate you based on your needs. This is not a restaurant that rushes people through as quickly as possible; though business was booming both times I went. I arrived at 11 a.m. for a work-related lunch one day and left at 12:30 p.m. In the span of those 90 minutes, the parking lot jumped from about eight cars to 25.

Owner Vandy Hong started the Harris Teeter location nine years ago after moving from Minnesota where he worked as a machinist. He partnered with his sister in starting the business, and they later opened the other two locations, with the restaurant in Robinhood Village being the most recent addition.

“Business has been good except the one in Cloverdale’s kind of slow,” Hong admitted. “Maybe people don’t know yet about Thai food.”

Hong said Fridays and Saturdays are the restaurant’s busiest days, and it has gradually grown in popularity. He said they advertise and offer coupons to help attract customers and will occasionally participate in donations.

“Sometimes we donate to the police station when those people called,” he said. “So we donated stuff to help them out.”

Hong encourage s more people to come to the Robinhood location since it is the newest. !

WANNA go?

Thai Sawadtee has three locations, at 5232 Robinhood Village Drive, 2281 Cloverdale Ave. and 3064 Healy Drive. Call 336.725.1332, or visit thaisawatdee.com.

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